Here are summaries of some recent Computing product reviews. Each product is rated on a scale of one to four, with one computer indicating poor and four indicating excellent:
Dynamic Memory Control, for IBM Personal Computer or compatible running DOS 2.0 or later. $79.95. From Adlersparre & Associates Inc., 501-1803 Douglas St., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8T 5C3. (604) 384-1118.
QAPlus, for PC or compatible. $159.95. From Diagsoft Inc., 5615 Scotts Valley Drive, Suite 140, Scotts Valley, Calif. 95066. (408) 438-8247.
Dynamic Memory Control is a utility program that makes it easier to load and unload software drivers and programs from memory. This lets you customize your PC's use of memory. It works as a complement to memory managers such as QEMM and 386MAX.
QAPlus is a diagnostic program that tests a PC's processor, memory, disk drives, keyboard, ports, video adapter and just about all other parts. Neither program is a must-have for individuals, who can do without or use less-expensive shareware utilities. Both could be wonderful for anyone who builds, tests, configures or supports dozens, hundreds or thousands of PCs.
Dynamic Memory Control
Performance: 3 computers
Ease of use: 2 computers
Value: 3 computers
Performance: 4 computers
Ease of use: 3 computers
Value: 3 computers
(These are reviews of shareware programs for IBM and #i compatible computers. Users try them, then pay a fee to register them if they decide to use them regularly.)
Patroquin Utilities. These programs range from the simple to the elaborate. With them, you can customize the PRINT command for your printer and scan a directory to select the files to print. You can delete all the files in a hard disk subdirectory except for those with a certain date or a certain file name extension. You can move a file from your hard disk to a floppy and vice versa. You can change file dates and times, or have the computer warn that you are running out of disk space or memory. You can do some of these things with commercial programs such as the Norton Utilities, XTree Gold and Magellan -- but with Patriquin's programs you don't have to wade through several screens of menus to do the job. Chances are you won't use them all, but after a trial period you'll probably find you're using most of them. That's when you should send Patriquin the $45 package registration fee. If you're only using one or two of the programs, registration fees range from $10 (for a program that automatically executes commands each day) to $20 each for the programs that handle deletions, searches, printing, and copying and moving files.
Recall. This program started as a utility for WordPerfect users and grew into one that's useful for everyone. It allows you to list or select files by their dates. Want to see what letters you wrote lately? Just go to the directory where letters are stored and RECALL will list them for you with the most recent ones at the top of the list. The registration fee is $25.
Stowaway. This is the most recent program put together by Patriquin and his assistant guru, Dan Collier, and it's one of the most useful. It will enable you to free space on your hard disk by compressing inactive files and moving them to a library of floppy diskettes. Stowaway compresses the files, copies them to floppies, erases them from the hard disk -- and creates on the hard disk an index of the offline files. The registration fee for this lusty infant of a program -- it's less than a month old -- is $59.95.
(For copies of Stowaway and Recall, send $4 each -- or $15 for all these Patriquin programs on five diskettes -- to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Or call (310) 595-6870. Please indicate 5 1/4 -or 3 1/2 -inch disks. A shareware catalog on a disk costs $2.)